Social media is a powerful job search tool, but to fully make use of its potential, you need to use it strategically. Here are some ways that you can use social media as an asset in your job search:
To showcase your knowledge. Social media provides an opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your industry. If you are frequently participating in discussions and posting interesting content that is relevant to your industry, people will begin to view you as a knowledgeable professional. This image will assist you both when prospective employers check you out on social media and when recruiters are looking for candidates with your skills.
To research companies. Many companies post a lot of useful information on social media. When you consider that most companies post on social media daily, but only update their website monthly, (or even less frequently) it is clear that social media provides more frequent information on company news and current priorities. The information on social media can provide you with clues about potential opportunities at the company as well as values that you might want to highlight in your cover letter and at your interview.
To make new connections. Making new connections is the most obvious use of social media. You can participate in group discussions, find people who are connected to people that you know, or identify people who work at one of your target companies. The more connections that you have, the more opportunities will open up for you.
To keep in touch. Just making connections isn’t enough; you have to keep in touch with them. That means that you should regularly reach out to them to ask them how things are going . You can even arrange a time to meet up with them for coffee or lunch. Whenever possible, find ways to help and support the people in your network.
To get job information. Social media can also be an excellent source of job information. In addition to the job postings on social media, you can look at people who are currently working in your target job and track their career path. This information can help you determine what steps you need to take to make yourself more marketable to employers.
When used effectively, social media can be an effective tool in your job search strategy. The key is to understand what you are trying to achieve with it and to make sure that everything you post is consistent with your strategy.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)